The Congress consisted of 14 thematic sessions and 6 round tables, covering different aspects of monitoring, analysis and modelling soil processes, functions and services in urban ecosystems. Each session and round table was convened by highly recognized experts in the introduced fields. The contributions were made by both experienced scientists as well as young PhD candidates and researchers, which enriched the balance of the Congress program.
The USI team actively participated in the congress. Tatiana Morin and Anna Paltseva were on the organizing committee and assisted in translations and coordination, and Joshua Cheng served on the scientific committee. USI Co-Founders, Richard Shaw and Paul Mankiewicz were special guests at the conference. Additionally, USI members George Lozefski and Courtney Drayer attended the conference and contributed to the scientific program and social media coverage, respectively.
The Congress poster sessions featured 116 posters, including a high number of posters first authored and presented by young scientists. The Russian Geography Society provided a grant to help support the participation of some of the young researchers at the Congress. USI member Anna Paltseva received the Best Young Scientist’s Presentation award. Russian Ministry of Agriculture put together a special tour for the USI delegation to a local eco-farm Sovkhoz imeni Lenina where we were able to see cutting edge sustainable infrastructure, eco-ponds and strawberry fields. The farm is an active supporter and great example of agro-tourism.
Additional conference highlights include a photo contest “Urban Landscape and Environment” and awards for “Best Oral Report” and “Best Poster”, a meeting with the Rector of RUDN, four one-days field tours (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Long-manured soils of urban gardens, Forest, agricultural and urban landscapes of Moscow city, New Moscow on a way to sustainable development) and two post-congress tours to St. Petersburg «North Palmyra» and to Kursk and Voronezh «A visit to the Czar of Soils».